Ashley Fantz, (CNN) — One year after the bombing at the Boston Marathon, runners are preparing to take on the 26.2-mile challenge Monday, proving there’s no limit to their physical or mental mettle.
Lee Ann Yanni will be sure to wear a necklace with a silver stingray charm that her father gave to her before he died of cancer.
The bombs that exploded toward the end of the race course in 2013 failed to tear the jewelry from her body.
The 32-year-old couldn’t walk for five and a half weeks. But she was not defeated. Yanni started training again and in October ran the Chicago Marathon in 5 hours and 44 minutes.
“I’m running for those who can’t,” she said ahead of her Boston Marathon run. “I don’t run very pretty … but at the finish line, everybody is going to be represented.”
Krystle Campbell, 29, Lingzi Lu, 23 and grade-schooler Martin Richard, 8, were killed. More than 260 people were wounded. Some lost limbs.
Thousands like Yanni will run to honor them in the storied marathon regarded by many runners as a dream race, both for its long history and for its most infamous climb, known as Heartbreak Hill.
This year’s race will have 9,000 more runners than last year’s, and an unprecedented crowd is expected to gather, officials have said.
Another survivor, Marc Fucarile, lost his right leg. He’s undergone numerous surgeries, but shrapnel is still lodged in the inner wall of his heart. If it moves, he could die. Recently, the 35-year-old went to a court hearing for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who allegedly, along with his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, were responsible for the bombing.
Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police; Dzhokhar is facing numerous charges and could be sentenced to death.
“Whatever he gets,” Fucarile told CNN, “he deserves.”
Officials have worked hard to make sure security is very tight Monday. Backpacks are not allowed on the course this year, said Kurt Schwartz, director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.
Costumes that cover the face, containers with more than 1 liter of liquid, and bulky clothes such as vests with pockets are also prohibited..
The weather for Monday’s race looks gorgeous — ideal for running — in the 40s with a brisk wind. Wearing chips in their shoes, all runners’ progress can be followed online at the Boston Athletic Association’s website.
The women’s elite group begins running at 9:32 a.m. ET, and the elite men’s group starts at 10 a.m. ET. Waves of other runners will start after them.
Runner’s World is carrying a list of the men and women who are expected to perform best.
CNN’s Ray Sanchez and Holly Yan contributed to this report.